Amazon Inspector

What is Amazon Inspector?

Amazon Inspector automates security assessment to improve the security and compliance of applications deployed on AWS. Using the best practices, it automatically assesses applications for exposure, vulnerabilities, and after an assessment, produces a detailed list of security findings prioritized by level of severity. You can review these findings directly or as part of detailed assessment reports that are available via the Amazon Inspector console or API.

Components of Amazon Inspector:

  • Amazon Inspector Agent: This software agent collects a wide set of configuration data (telemetry) and can be installed on the EC2 instances that are included in the assessment target. 
  • Assessment Run: It’s a process of discovering potential security issues through the analysis of your assessment target's configuration against specified rules packages. During an assessment run, Amazon Inspector monitors, collects, and analyzes configuration data (telemetry) from resources within the specified target. Further, Amazon Inspector analyzes the data and compares it against a set of security rules packages that are specified in the assessment template used during the assessment run. A completed assessment run produces a list of findings, which are potential security issues of various levels of severity.
  • Assessment Target: Assessment target is a collection of AWS resources that work together as a unit to help you accomplish your business goals. Amazon Inspector evaluates the security state of such resources that constitute the assessment target.
  • Assessment Template: It is a configuration that is used during your assessment run. The template includes:
    • Rules packages used by Amazon Inspector to evaluate your assessment target.
    • Amazon SNS topics you want Amazon Inspector to send notifications for assessment run states and findings.
    • Tags (key-value pairs) that you can assign to findings generated by the assessment run.
    • The duration of the assessment run.
  • Finding: It’s a potential security issue discovered by the Amazon Inspector during an assessment run of the specified target. Findings are displayed in the Amazon Inspector console or retrieved through the API. They contain both a detailed description of the security issue and a recommendation on how to fix it. 
  • Rule: It is a security check performed during an assessment run. When a rule detects a potential security issue, Amazon Inspector generates a finding that describes the issue.
  • Rules Package: It is a collection of rules that corresponds to a security goal that you might have. You can specify your security goal by selecting the appropriate rules package when you create an Amazon Inspector assessment template. 
  • Telemetry: These are installed package information and software configuration for an EC2 instance. Amazon Inspector collects this data during an assessment run.

Features of Amazon Inspector:

  • Configuration Scanning and Activity Monitoring Engine: By providing an agent, Amazon Inspector analyzes the system and the resource configuration. Also, it monitors activity to determine how an assessment target looks like, how it behaves, and its dependent components. The combination of this telemetry provides a complete picture of the target and its potential security or compliance issues.
  • Built-In Content Library: Amazon Inspector includes a built-in library of rules and reports that include checks against best practices, common compliance standards, and vulnerabilities. These checks further include detailed recommended steps for resolving potential security issues.
  • Automation Through an API: Amazon Inspector can be automated fully through an API. It allows you to incorporate security testing into the development and design process, including selecting, executing, and reporting the results of those tests.

Benefits of Amazon Inspector:

  • Find Application Security Issues: Amazon Inspector identifies security vulnerabilities, as well as deviations from security best practices in applications, before deployment and while they are running in a production environment. This way overall security of your applications deployed on AWS improves.
  • Bring Security Into DevOps: Amazon Inspector, an API-driven service, analyzes network configurations in your AWS account and uses an optional agent for visibility into your Amazon EC2 instances. Thus, it eases for you to build Inspector assessments right into your existing DevOps process, decentralizing and automating vulnerability assessments, and empowering your development and operations teams to make security assessments an integral part of the deployment process.
  • Enhance Development Agility: Amazon Inspector reduces the risk of introducing security issues during development and deployment by automating the security assessment of your applications and proactively identifying vulnerabilities. This allows you to develop and iterate on new applications quickly and assess compliance with best practices and policies.
  • Leverage AWS Security Expertise: The AWS security organization is continuously assessing the AWS environment and updating a knowledge base of security best practices and rules. Amazon Inspector provides this expertise to you in the form of a service that simplifies the process of establishing and enforcing best practices within your AWS environment.
  • Update Security Compliance: Amazon Inspector gives security teams and auditors visibility into the security testing that is being performed during the development of applications on AWS. This streamlines the process of validating and demonstrating that security and compliance standards and ensures only the best practices are being followed throughout the development process.
  • Strengthen  Security Standards: Amazon Inspector allows you to define standards and best practices for your applications and validate adherence to these standards. This simplifies the enforcement of your organization’s security standards and best practices and helps proactively manage security issues before they impact your production application.


Whether you’re a big organization or a small company, no matter what sort of development approach you follow, you won’t be entertained unless you ensure security. But if you’re mistaken about ensuring security with manual efforts, then it is not practical as well. What you need to concentrate on is something like Amazon Inspector that is way better than manual efforts and more trustworthy. It continuously monitors AWS resources and identifies potential vulnerabilities, their impacts on your application, and based on that it offers solutions.